UWIRE: Obama’s post-DNC boost increases approval rating

The Rasmussen Report’s daily presidential tracking system shows President Barack Obama five points ahead of presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the nation.

The gap between the two candidates, which had narrowed when Romney selected Wisconsinite Paul Ryan as his running mate, has not been this wide since March 17.

The Rasmussen report also shows Obama’s job approval rating at 52 percent, which is at its highest since January of 2011. Forty-seven percent disapprove of the President’s performance, according to the reports.

According to the Associated Press, the Obama campaign has raised $114 million in the month of August, $3 million more than the Romney campaign. Obama was able to significantly increase his fundraising after finding 317,000 donors who had not yet contributed to his campaign.

U. Wisconsin political science professor Ken Mayer said he feels the polls reflect the fact that the Democratic National Convention has just taken place, and does not particularly reflect the fact that the Obama campaign outspent Romney’s campaign.

Mayer said he thinks the $3 million is fairly insignificant, and the “post-convention bounce” matters a lot more in terms of poll results.

“Romney got no bounce, or a small convention-bounce, while Obama has a moderate convention-bounce. This will temporarily affect his approval rating,” Mayer said. “It is likely that the numbers will tighten up again in the next month. In the context of the presidential race, these poll results will not predict the final outcome.”

Professor Barry Burden, another UW political science professor, echoed similar thoughts.

According to Burden, it appears Obama got more of a boost from the Democratic convention than Romney did from the Republican convention. Burden said although the race tightened after Romney chose Ryan as his running mate, all of that seems to have reversed in recent days.

“Polls show Obama back on top nationally and in some key swing states. His fundraising has picked up and will probably continue to flow as the general election approaches,” Burden said in an email to The Badger Herald. “Romney is going to have to hope that poor economic numbers, SuperPAC ads or the October debates change the dynamic in his direction.”